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Cisco’s onePK Part 1: Introduction

Exordium

Cisco's One Platform Kit (onePK) is a fantastic toolkit for building custom applications that interact with your Cisco routers and switches. Using onePK, you can build automation directly into the network and extend all sorts of functionality using Cisco devices. The first in a three-part blog series, this article will introduce onePK to the reader, explain what it is, how it can be useful, and will show how to configure onePK on a router. The second and third installments will walk the reader through a simple security-relevant application using the C API. Important to note is that we'll be covering the 0.6.0 version of onePK features and service sets. At the time of this writing, the toolkit is still in Controlled Availability and as such, is still in active development, and the API could change before it is released into General Availability. However, even in the face of API evolutionism, this article will provide you with a solid jumping-off point for your plunge into the wondrous world of onePK.

OK, Just What is onePK?

OnePK is a Cisco IOS Software feature and a set of programming libraries enabling an application programmer to build powerful applications that tightly integrate and interact with Cisco devices. onePK is available to you via a well-documented and unified API, currently offered in C and Java with Python in active development. It is currently in pre-release and is available only on request. Details on how to obtain onePK are provided below. Read More »

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How Cisco Can Help Partners With Business Transformation Challenges

If you’ve met Edison Peres, SVP, worldwide channels or heard him address the audience at Cisco Partner Summit before, you know he’s all about partner evolution -- specifically, how Cisco can help partners grapple with a unique period of technology and business model changes in the IT industry, and transform their businesses to meet those changes.

During his General Session discussion on Day 1 of last week’s Partner Summit, Edison urged partners to focus on three priorities: making hybrid IT a foundation of your value proposition, leading with solutions and professional services, and transitioning your sales teams to address new buying centers. Business transformation, Edison said, in one of the most repeated (and re-tweeted) quotes of the week, “is kind of like remodeling an airplane while it’s flying and there are people on it. We know it’s not easy. But if you focus on these three areas today, you will be well on your way to a successful tomorrow.”

Let’s hear a bit more from Edison on how Cisco wants partners to think about these changes:

You can check out our day-by-day summary of Cisco Partner Summit or grab our executive summary of news and announcements But let’s review some of what Edison, Bruce Klein, SVP, Worldwide Partner Organization, and other Cisco executives announced last week to help partners with this often-challenging evolution. Read More »

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Knocking Down Barriers to Pervasive Video Collaboration: Comprehensive Interoperability

I am a strong believer in the power of video; video can transform the relationships we have with our colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers. Our goal is to make video as universally available and easy to use as voice and data are today.  Recent developments  make it possible to scale video more cost-effectively across organizations, but as an industry there are still more hurdles to knock down in order to make rich, effective and efficient video collaboration part of everyone’s daily routine.

Customers have a breadth of needs when it comes to when and how they collaborate, and it’s no surprise to me that customers are taking a step back to evaluate the needs of their organization both now and in the future.  While doing so, they are also trying to understand the alphabet soup of standards and what it means in terms of technologies working together.  Which standard is better? What are the benefits of each? Will a technology that uses one standard be able to communicate with a technology that uses another standard?  Will a technology made by one vendor be able to communicate with a technology made by another vendor?

I personally believe it is the vendors’ responsibility to take the complexity out of the equation and do whatever it takes to make things work together.  For me, that means industry-wide commitment to open standards.  Open standards ensure true interoperability across vendor and technology boundaries bringing us closer to our goal of making video universally available and easy to use.  Cisco has led the way in developing open standards, driving the industry towards interoperable collaboration solutions. And we continue to do so.

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New Video Collaboration Robot: TelePresence Gets Moving

Cisco® TelePresence® has transformed the way we collaborate—enabling immersive, face-to-face meetings at a distance, and access to remote experts anywhere in the world. What if that experience was combined with robotic technology, to give the remote user “location spontaneity”—the ability to move around a faraway space…have a chance encounter in the hallway or tour the factory floor?

That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.

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Location Based Analytics and Services - Retail – What are the practical uses?

Nobody can question that location-based services are hot these days--especially in the retail space.

Retail in general is under increasing competition and pressure to maintain its revenues and profitability, especially physical retailers who are threatened by online businesses, ranging from one person outfits to global giants.

Physical retailers big and small are all facing the same phenomenon: smartphone users walking around their stores (inside and out). Google and Nielson recently reported that shopping queries are two times as likely to be in store. So people are actively on their smartphones in stores. The significance of this statistic to retail is that there is a huge opportunity here to optimize dollars, be it marketing funds or operational savings–all of which can be enabled by location-based services.

iStock retail

Cisco's location based services using the Mobility Services Engine and the Connected Mobile Experiences solutions is market leading and generates a lot of interest among customers and I get the privilege of speaking with many retail business executives on a global basis.

In retail, the two big rocks are revenue and loyalty.  The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution helps line of business leaders reach those goals by aligning with the mobility trend. Armed with the location-based services of CMX, you can captivate your customers by creating personalized, context-based engagement to boost loyalty, while generating location analytics data on customer movement patterns and behavior for optimizing operational costs. Read More »

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